In line with its commitment on internal areas at national level, Cittadinanzattiva is taking part to the AHEAD project, which started in April 2021.

The Project AHEAD addresses the challenge of medical deserts and medical desertification in Europe in an effort to help reduce health inequalities. The approach applied in this Project aims to build knowledge, encourage (digital) innovation in health service delivery to improve access and apply a participatory approach to public health policymaking. The Project will be carried out in Romania, Serbia, Moldova, Italy and the Netherlands and will benefit health policymakers, patients’ organizations, health professionals’ organisations, affected communities and more. The countries were carefully selected to highlight different manifestations of medical deserts and to address interconnectedness as a result of health worker mobility. The ultimate impact at society and EU level is better access to health services, especially in underserved areas, and more equitable access to sufficient, skilled and motivated health workers, starting with the countries involved in the Project.

The main objective of this project is to provide knowledge and tools to a group of relevant policymakers in selected Member States and other eligible countries to define, design and implement evidence-based reforms in the health workforce field that specifically aim to counteract medical deserts and/or prevent medical deserts.

Specific objectives:

  • Generate evidence and build stakeholder knowledge on medical deserts and related policies in the project countries;

  • Develop and build consensus on context-specific, feasible policy measures to support policymakers to counteract and prevent medical deserts;

  • Ensure joint reflection on effective, feasible and acceptable policy measures to prevent and counteract medical deserts, among national and European key stakeholders and relevant decision makers.

To ensure the widest possible dissemination of the project and to increase its impact and outreach, AHEAD dissemination objectives have been set:

  • to raise awareness among project beneficiaries, target groups, various stakeholders of the existence of medical deserts and the need to address them;

  • to raise awareness on the solutions to the medical deserts (which were identified and described by each project country);

  • to disseminate the project outcomes among national and European key stakeholders and relevant decision makers.

The Role of Cittadinanzattiva - Active Citizenship Network
Our involvement in the AHEAD project is coherent with:

Our Mission (Art. 1 of our Statute):

  • Cittadinanzattiva promotes citizens' activism for the protection of rights, the care of common goods, the support for people in conditions of weakness.

The principles stated in the European Charter of Patients’ Rights, promoted by Cittadinanzattiva - Active Citizenship Network, especially:

Our commitment at National level (Italy) in the field of inner areas (characterized by lack of health services, schools, public transportations)

Our commitment at EU level towards a European Health Union

Consortium partners

The consortium is coordinated by Wemos, The Netherlands.


Communication channels and materials:

  • Facebook: @medicaldeserts 

Project duration
The project has a planned duration of 26 months, starting from April 2021 and ending in May 2023.

Funding Programme/Call:
The project AHEAD has received funding from the European Union’s EU CHAFEA – 3rd Health Programme under grant agreement No 101018371.

Call identifier: HP-PJ-2020-2

Topic: PJ-01-2020-2 Support to reforms in health workforce field - Initiatives on medical deserts (Heading of the AWP 2020)

Contact person:
Bianca Ferraiolo, Head of the Representative Office to the EU and Senior Manager EU Affairs at Cittadinanzattiva: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Co-funded by the Health Programme of the European Union

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(Last updated: July 2021)

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